West started with the advantage of the slope and immediately took play to the heart of Billingham’s team with a great chase of the kick off putting pressure on the catcher. West turned over the ball and were immediately on the score board with scrum half Adam Phillips moving the ball quickly to stand off Luke Armstrong who broke the first line of defence before feeding inside centre Kyle Jameson who drew his opposite number and released his centre partner Jaspal Dhillon to score, full back Connor Turner added the conversion (0 – 7).
Second row Luke Chapman received the ball from the kick off and drove hard at Billingham’s oncoming players excellent work at the ruck from West’s pack provided quick ball for the backs to race up field with winger Ben Ward unlucky not to score as Billingham’s defence managed to hall him down inside the 22. West’s Back row of Lewis Pattinson, Liam Crone and Jack Smith were working exceptionally well and were on hand to recover the ball from the ruck and set up a series of rucks to drive play close to Billingham’s line for Luke Chapman to pick up and be driven over the line for an excellent team try, Luke Armstrong added the conversion from wide out (0 – 14)
West’s power play from the forwards was clearly rattling Billingham who were making some uncharacteristic errors which West took full advantage of. The pack were on top in set pieces with the scrum setting a solid platform through some sterling work from the front row of Kaine Cohen, Captain Sam Miller and Zac Tarbah.
West gained their third try when the ball was release quickly from a scrum to Luke Armstrong who neatly stepped his opposite number to stride over for an unconverted try (0 – 19).
Turning round for the second half West had to play up the slope and with the pace and heat of the first half the coaches had to be wondering if the team could keep up the work rate and pressure.
Billingham were quick to test West when they moved the ball quickly along their backline for their winger to race down the wing and have the presence of mind to touch down behind the posts to make the conversion attempt easier (7 – 19).
West were not going to lie down and were up for the challenge with second row Joe Myers and substitute prop Garry Owen working well in the rucks and mauls. West regained possession through the forwards who were putting in some tremendous tacklers to force Billingham onto the back foot creating space for West spacey backs to run deep into Billingham’s half. Jaspal Dhillon looked to be certain of a try when the ball was moved swiftly along the line and Jaspal jinked his way past his opposite number. Billingham looked to have closed down the opportunity as their defence rushed across the field only for Kyle Jamison to hit the gap with a great supporting line to finish off under the posts Connor Turner adding the conversion (7 – 26).
While the rest of the half was played with equal intensity by both sides there were no further scores. Thanks must go to all the supporters who travelled to Stockton to support the team coaches Stuart Waits, Adam Coates and Chris Young who have had a real impact and influence with the boys since they joined the team earlier this season but most of all to the full team who all played their part in a wonderful game of open rugby.